Close to 200 crime scene photos of the inside of 36 Brockley Drive were detailed during testimony at the murder trial of Christopher Porco from the man who took them, New York State Police Troop G Investigator Drew McDonald.
Porco, 22, is on trial for the murder of his father and the attempted murder of his mother.
A 20-year veteran who has worked over 100 homicides, McDonald on Wednesday, July 5, described in room-by-room and sometime object-by-object detail the collection of evidence gathered inside the Porco family home over several days beginning Nov. 15, 2004, the day Peter Porco was found dead and his wife Joan Porco severely injured in their home.
We were at the residence a total of six days, said McDonald, who photographed every room in the house explaining the minute differences between blood splatter, transfer of blood and the many passive bloodstains of Peter Porco found inside the home.
What becomes clear in photo after photo is that Peter Porco was up and wandering from the master bedroom to the master bath to the downstairs kitchen and family room, leaving a trail of blood following his footsteps. The greatest amount of blood is found in the master bedroom where the attacks on Joan and Peter Porco occurred. However, the kitchen floor, stove and countertop have bloodstains, as do the bathroom and kitchen light fixtures. Tissues and paper towels with Peter Porco’s blood are on the bathroom and kitchen floor.
The most difficult photo for the jury and family members to see was the body of Peter Porco lying on his side, head pushed up toward the wall of the foyer by the stairs, shirt pulled halfway up, one hand over his side and white athletic socks he is wearing soaked in blood.
`What it indicated to me is that he stepped in several areas of blood drops,` said McDonald.
Defense attorney Terence Kindlon said there is never going to be anything about a crime scene less than horrific. Christopher Porco did not look at the photos of his fathers when they were shown in the courtroom.
`I couldn’t look at the pictures if it was my father,` Kindlon said.
Although the testimony shows a brutal crime scene, Kindlon said it does not link Christopher to the attacks at all.
`The testimony shows Peter Porco was brutally murdered, but it doesn’t have anything to do with Christopher,` Kindlon said.
A check for $100 signed by Peter Porco dated Nov. 13, and made out to Saratoga Springs City Court was found stuck to the inside front of the dishwasher. The check was to pay for a traffic violation Christopher Porco received.
`Christopher was being taken care of by his father, and his last act was to pay a $100 traffic fine,` Kindlon said.
Many of the 200 photos also show many rooms left untouched by the perpetrator of the crime, including both the bedrooms of Johnathan and Christopher Porco, the upstairs bathroom, the living room and the dining room. The master bedroom and master bath where the crime scene occurred have the most visible signs of an attack. Evidence collected at the scene show that most, if not all, of the blood found in the rooms outside the master bedroom is the blood of Peter Porco.
Kurt Meyer, a Time Warner Security employee, explained the intricacies of the home security alarm Peter and Joan Porco installed in the home prior to the attacks. The 128 entries in the security system from Oct. 31 through Nov. 15, 2004 were entered as evidence for the prosecution.
Although the Porcos improperly programmed the daylight savings time in October 2004, Meyer was able to show when the home alarm was activated the night prior to the attacks, and when it may have been disarmed.
`At 2:14 a.m., Nov. 15, 2004 the security system was disarmed or turned off by using the master code,` Meyer said. `One way to do that is at the keypad in the kitchen.`
At 5 a.m. a phone line was cut.
`The actual time the line was cut was around 4:54 a.m.,` said Meyers. Defense Attorney Laurie Shanks noted the Porcos paid for a motion sensor with the home security system but could not use it because the family dog Barrister could set it off.
Shanks also noted one of the 128 entries in the security alarm shows the time and date of Dec. 30, 1899, indicated the system is not foolproof. She added there is no way to know if the security alarm was disarmed by someone inside or outside the house. Only four people had the master code to the security alarm system at 36 Brockley Drive prior to Nov. 15.
In earlier testimony, Navy Lt. Steven Carter testified that Johnathan Porco was accounted for at a class inside the Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, S.C. on Nov. 15, 2004.
`He sat directly behind me in class and was there at 6:45 a.m.,` Stevens said.